Man jailed after leaping from Old Bailey public gallery to protest over murder gang's jail sentences

24 February 2020, 16:31

The incident took place at the Central Criminal Court in London
The incident took place at the Central Criminal Court in London. Picture: PA

By Megan White

A man has been jailed after leaping from the public gallery of the Old Bailey to protest over the jail sentences handed down to five thugs convicted of a gangland murder.

Carl Stanbury, 36, was sentenced to seven months behind bars after jumping nine feet from the gallery into the well of the court as a melee broke out in the dock among defendants.

The electrician, who considered himself the stepfather of one of the teenage defendants, was said to have shouted threats towards the sentencing judge before being restrained by police officers.

He admitted contempt in the face of the court, and apologised for his actions.

But he looked stunned as he was sentenced to seven months in jail by judge Mr Justice Edis at the same court on Monday.

Sentencing Stanbury, of no fixed address, the judge said: "Those who are present are required to exercise full control in court.

"They may exercise their right to freedom of speech (outside court) ... but violent protest is simply unacceptable.

"Only an immediate custodial sentence is sufficient."

The disturbance followed the sentencing of Sheareem Cookhorn, 21, Tyrell Graham, 18, and 17-year-olds Jayden O'Neil-Crichlow, Shane Lyons and Ojay Hamilton last month, for murdering 19-year-old Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck in Wood Green, north London, in February 2019.

Defence counsel James Higbee, for Stanbury, said his client was the partner of Lyons' mother, and had taken time off from work to attend on various days.

Mr Higbee said: "When a fight broke out in the dock at the sentencing hearing, which was not his fault, there was then a fight in the public gallery where he was sitting.

"Someone within the public gallery said they thought one of the defendants had a knife.

"That information seemed to spread among the public gallery and things became chaotic."

Mr Higbee said three police officers attempted to clear the public gallery amid the melee, adding that his client was "grabbed" from behind, as though being put in a headlock.

He said: "It occurred to him there were other people who might have more serious intentions in the public gallery, where there were gang members."

Stanbury later said he was "in shock and made a really bad decision to jump down".

Mr Higbee said his client "let off some choice comments about what had just happened", particularly the 21-year sentence imposed on Lyons, although those comments were not repeated in court on Monday.